Israel to buy F-35 jets, KC-46 refueling planes and munitions from US

17 February 2021 (Last Updated February 17th, 2021 17:07)

An Israeli ministerial committee has reportedly given clearance to procure new F-35 jets, KC-46 refuelling aircraft and munitions from the US.

Israel to buy F-35 jets, KC-46 refueling planes and munitions from US
A Boeing KC-46A with refuelling boom lowered. Credit: USAF Christopher Okula.

An Israeli ministerial committee has reportedly given clearance to procure new F-35 jets, KC-46 refuelling aircraft and munitions from the US.

Reuters reported citing an official as saying that the deal is expected to be valued at billions of dollars.

The news agency quoted the official as stating: “A ministerial procurement committee has approved the purchase of a new F-35 squadron, four new refuelling planes, and a large quantity of munitions.”

The latest deal would be the first foreign military sale (FMS) to Israel under US President Joe Biden’s administration.

The Biden-Harris administration is currently reviewing arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

In a press briefing, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said: “Israel is, of course, an ally.

“Israel is a country where we have an important strategic security relationship and our team is fully engaged, not at the head-of-state level quite yet, but very soon, but our team is fully engaged, having constant conversations at many levels with the Israelis.”

Last year, US Congress was notified about a potential sale of up to eight KC-46 refuelling aircraft to Israel for as much as $2.4bn.

In June 2016, the Israeli Air Force received the first F-35A Adir and declared its fleet operationally capable in December the following year.

Last year, the Israeli Air Force inaugurated the second F-35 squadron.